this site causes the least amount of discomfort to the patient. Other sites used for
capillary puncture are the ear lobe (used when the finger is not suitable or when the
patient is extremely frightened), the big toe, and the heel (when collecting from an infant).
a. Equipment. Again, this procedure is also minor surgery. Therefore, aseptic
technique must be employed and all the appropriate equipment must be sterile.
(1) Alcohol sponges. Gauze pads soaked in 70 percent Isopropyl alcohol are
used. Commercially prepared pads can be purchased for this purpose.
(2) Blood lancets (HemoletR). The most satisfactory instrument to use for
capillary punctures is one that penetrates the skin to a depth of no more than four
millimeters (three and four millimeters).
Sterile gauze pads (2 x 2 inches).
Slides and capillary tubes.
Sterile silicone jelly (for a heel puncture).
b. Procedure. See the following steps and figure 2-2.
STEP 1: Prepare the puncture site.
Warm the area to assure good circulation of blood (38-40 C). Cleanse the
area with an alcohol sponge.
Figure 2-2a. Clean the puncture site.
STEP 2: Perform the capillary puncture. Puncture the skin with a quick firm stroke
of the lancet. Depending on the selected area of the puncture, use the
The finger puncture. Hold the patient's finger between your thumb and
index finger while puncturing the finger and collecting the blood.